Dengue is a virus that you can get from the bite of a female Aedes mosquito. Hence, there are four types of dengue virus. This health illness is most common in the world’s tropical areas, but there are already some cases in Europe. Also, some people infected by this virus may not show any signs of dengue.
Today, it affects most Asian and Latin American countries. It has been the most common cause of death and hospitalization among children and adults.
It is better to study more about dengue so that you know what to do whenever you visit a tropical area.
1. The Four Types of Dengue Virus
There are four types of dengue virus. Once you get the infection from one of these viruses, you can still get the other three viruses. Also, your body can build a defense for a specific virus that you had. Yet, you can still get infected from any of the three dengue viruses.
These are the reason for the different symptoms you can feel, depending on the type of virus you have. Likewise, you can still find these in the same regions in the world where the disease is common.
2. Places with Most Cases of Dengue
You will notice that most of these places are the tropical areas of the world. The tropical environment makes it easier for the mosquitos to live.
- Southeast Asia
- Southern China
- Pacific Islands
- The Caribbean except for Cuba and Cayman Islands
- Central and South America except for Chile, Paraguay, and Argentina
3. Symptoms and Treatments
Many people do not experience any signs of dengue. However, the symptoms of the infection are mistaken as a symptom for other diseases. After four to 10 days of the mosquito biting, flu-like symptoms will start to show. Such as dengue fever and followed by these symptoms:
- Pain in the muscles and joints
- You can feel pain behind your eyes
- There are rashes on your skin.
Common causes of the infection can recover within a week or later. However, the symptoms can worsen and become life-threatening. Severe dengue is a dengue fever that can cause bleeding in your internal organs. Hence, it can happen when the pathways of your blood become damaged and leaky. Also, the number of clot-forming cells in your bloodstream will begin to drop.
4. Warning Signs
- Unbearable pain in the stomach
- Vomiting from time to time
- Bleeding from your gums or nose
- There is blood in your urine, stools, or vomit
- Some bruising on your skin
- Having a hard time to breathe
- You feel tired and restless
You will begin to feel these symptoms after a day or two that your fever goes away. When you begin to see the symptoms, you have to seek medical attention right away.
There are no specific medications used to treat this infection. Pain killers that do not have aspirin are sometimes used for the early symptoms. However, if it gets worse, you should go to the hospital to get checked.
5. How to Prevent Catching a Dengue
A vaccine for dengue that has the approval of the FDA is available. But it is only for those who have a history of dengue fever and who had the infection before. Also, people who did not have the infection in the past cannot take the vaccine. It can increase the risk of having a serious infection of the virus in the future. The U.S. FDA only approved the vaccine for those children who are ages 9 to 16.
Since there are no medications available, you must protect yourself. There are a lot of ways to protect yourself from it.
- Wear pants and love sleeve shirts when you are outdoors. You can also wear a long sock as protection.
- Always make sure that the window screens are secure and have no holes. Use mosquito nets if you are sleeping in a place with no air conditioner.
- Contact your doctor right away if you have symptoms of the virus.
To lessen the possible nests of mosquitoes, get rid of the things that can collect rain. Examples of these are your old tires, cans, and flower pots. You have to change the water in your outdoor birdbaths and pet’s water from time to time.
6. Common Complications and Risk Factors
You can develop a greater risk factor if you are living or traveling in a tropical area. Also, it can increase your exposure to the virus. When you have a history of dengue fever in the past, it can increase your chances of having it again.
The common complications of serious dengue fever are internal bleeding and organ damage. But if you are pregnant and you have the virus, it can also spread to your baby. There will be a higher chance that you will give birth to your child earlier. Your baby will not be healthy at birth because of the virus.
Do not let mosquitoes bite you. Invest in using mosquito repellent and do other ways to protect yourself. Before going to a tropical area, make sure to protect yourself from the mosquitos. When you feel symptoms of the virus, you should go to the hospital right away.